Paris is considered one of the most beautiful cities in the world, if not the most. That is why so many times the image of France is linked to the Eiffel Tower, the ships of the Seine and the shops of Champs Elysees, forgetting that the Gallic homeland is, above all, a country of contrasts and beautiful historical and natural. Take a short trip as you read on and get an idea of how amazing these places are, you will probably get motivated to visit one of them… or maybe each one of them!
Because of its location, its architectural gems, its narrow and steep streets dotted with medieval houses, its history or its surroundings, France has a wonderful group of exceptional towns and many of them are included in the association Les Plus Beaux Villages. Among the most beautiful of the neighboring country is Conques, in the Midi-Pyrénées region, which has one of the treasures of Western Christian art, the unique Romanesque abbey of Sainte-Foy.
The capital of the department of Aude is formed, in fact, by two cities separated by the river Aude. At the top, the Cité, the primitive village; down, on the other side of the river, the Ville Basse, the current city ‘alive’. Once you arrive in Carcassonne, the one to look for is the one above, declared a World Heritage Site. Protected by a double ring of walls, it is a movie city, which is accessed through the Narbonne gate, flanked by two twin towers with rake and drawbridge. Inside you will discover the Comtal castle, the St-Nazaire cathedral, an architectural jewel with beautiful stained glass windows and a well-kept labyrinth of medieval houses where you can find charming cafes, restaurants and souvenir shops.
Seen from above, the steep cliffs of the little more than 20 kilometers of winding coast that run between Cassis and Marseille seem unreal. The white limestone contrasts powerfully with the turquoise blue of waters that have been battling against the rock for centuries and creating one of the most rugged natural landscapes of the Mediterranean, a paradise for lovers of scuba diving and climbing. If are looking for this kind of experiences, do not hesitate to have the opportunity of having a lot of fun with your friends or just by yourself.
On a rocky islet surrounded by a wonderful bay rises the Mont Saint-Michel, scene of the biggest tides of Europe. It was their maritime environment that determined the choice of monks in the Middle Ages to settle in this place and build the great abbey that rises in it. The most unusual thing is that for a few hours a day, the mountain becomes an island, a phenomenon worthy of admiration from the Mont, the walls, the west terrace (square of the abbey) or the new bridge-walkway. Ennobled by the kings, praised by painters and poets, adorned with forests and gardens, passing by cities with as much life as Nantes, Le Mans or Angers, the Loire River is the common thread of this French valley that runs through the largest enclave declared Heritage World by Unesco in France. Following this legendary strip of water, countless castles, including the one of Chenonceau or Chambord, are two of the most representative.
Cathedrals of Reims and Chartres
De Chartres, its three porches and having served as a model to many other cathedrals; of Reims, his fifty statues of kings about five meters high and witness the coronation of the majority of the kings of France; of both, its spectacular stained glass windows and its inclusion in the list of Unesco’s Heritage. The cathedrals of Chartres and Reims are two of the great French Gothic jewels. Most of bohemians are in love with these places, as both have a peaceful and quiet ambient.